The pal and the mate

I've been known to drop a few moves on the dancefloor, especially after a couple of shandies. But, as nifty as my footwork is, it is no doubt a lot less impressive than the dance of long-tailed manakins. It is a unique courtship, where two males team up in order to impress the ladies. Interestingly, only the alpha male will mate with the females. His pal sits it out until he inherits the mating site when the alpha male dies - often having to wait for up to 15 years. Dr David MacDonald, from Wyoming University, who helped to film the birds in Costa Rica, said: "As far as I know, it's the only example of male-male mating co-operation in the animal kingdom. It's a rough life for a beta male manakin. But if he hits the jackpot he is one of the most succesful vertebrates on the planet."